The Virginia Residential Tenant Act (VRLTA) and related Virginia Code provisions will see some major changes in favor of landlords come July 1, 2018.
Reservation of Rights
One such change involves the reservation of a landlord’s right to accept rent payments from tenants and still proceed with an eviction. Virginia Code §55-248.34:1(A) and (B) currently require a landlord to include reservation of rights language in its 5 day notice to pay or quit or in a separate written notice within 5 business days of receipt of payment prior to judgment, and separate written notice within 5 business days of receipt of payment after judgment. Without these notices, a landlord cannot accept rent payments from a tenant and proceed with an eviction. For more information on this, see my prior blog article on this topic here.
As of July 1, 2018, so long as a landlord includes reservation of rights language in its 5 day notice to pay or quit, a landlord may accept rent payments from its tenant and proceed with an eviction. The post-judgment reservation of rights notice requirement currently in place is removed by the July 1st amendment to the VRLTA. This relieves the landlord of the administrative burden to provide post-judgment reservation of rights notice to a tenant for each and every payment made and accepted leading up to the eviction.
Another major change to the Virginia Code favoring Virginia landlords is the award of a judgment for immediate possession regardless of whether a tenant-defendant is present or not. Currently the law only allows an award of immediate possession in favor of a landlord if the tenant-defendant fails to appear in court. If a tenant appears and consents to judgment, Virginia courts currently award a judgment for possession with a 10-day stay.
Effective July 1, 2018, Virginia Code §8.01-129(B) will require a judge, upon a landlord-plaintiff’s request, to award a judgment for immediate possession of the premises where a defendant fails to appear and where a defendant appears and consents to judgment. The sheriff will still be required to wait the 10-day appeal period before executing the eviction.
For a full summary of the July 1, 2018 changes to the VRLTA and related Code sections and how judges have enforced the changes, sign up for my seminar on this topic here, details below.
Virginia Landlord/Tenant Law Updates Seminar
Offit Kurman invites you to join attorney Crystal Kramer for the third of a series of three free seminars
focused on educating Virginia landlords regarding their rights and responsibilities.
In this seminar she’ll discuss landlord/tenant law updates the General Assembly’s updates to the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act and related statutes, their impact on landlords and tenants, and the best practices for landlords to follow to comply with the amended laws.
Sign in/Breakfast: 10:00am-10:15am
Seminar: 10:15am – 11:15am
If you have any questions about this topic or any other landlord-tenant matters, please contact Crystal Kramer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240.507.1727.
ABOUT CRYSTAL KRAMER
Crystal Kramer’s practice is focused on the representation of landlords and property managers of residential and commercial real estate in Virginia. This representation includes Fair Housing disputes and all litigation associated with lease disputes, including breach of lease, unlawful detainer actions, and tenant’s assertion actions.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 170 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eleven offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.
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